Skip to main content
1:00 am
she would describe life. so romantically that john adams would reply in one of his letters, oh my sweet little farm, what i would do to enjoy thee without interruption. >> of the four years of his presidency, how much time did she spend their vs. the capitol? >> she had to stay there for an extended time. john actually followed her and stayed there, too long according to his cabinet. she tried to stay there for as much time as she could. again, her health caused her to be at home. she was quite ill. she was possibly close to death during that time. >> how did he serve as chief executive from afar?
1:01 am
>> this also happened during the vice presidency. when congress was needed, the vice president would go back to where he lived. especially during the summer, they would usually lead in the spring and come back in the fall. it was a seasonal thing. although he did overdo it a little bit during this time. it was not unusual for the president to be away. >> these were very trying and tent -- tempestuous years for a brand new nation. can you give us a sense of the history, what was happening during the adams administration, key policy issues? >> the major problems were international. you had a political tiffs. you had the creation of political parties. we had problems with the french, the british.
1:02 am
american political parties were divided, pro-french, pro- british. one of the problems john had was keeping the country out of war. he was successful. i think that is probably the thing that he should be most recognized for during the period. >> i also find it ironic that he is one of president who kept us out of four -- war. the u.s. would have collapsed in a second war with britain. it subverted his career. the politicians of the time were like politicians forever, they enjoyed making the exercise of war. there were very close to war. the population in general was
1:03 am
outraged by the piracy, american ships were being -- being taken on seas. diplomats were being treated poorly in france in particular. the french revolution happened. >> a small point for some of you, the president was inaugurated in march. march was the timeframe. you can see things like the washington, d.c. selecting him at the capital. john marshall was selected. i want to go to 1798 with the passage of the alien and sedition act. what is the view of both adamses
1:04 am
on this? >> some people thought we were about to be overrun by french revolutionaries and the a were influencing people in america. there were rumors that cities would be burned. it was terrorism they were anticipating. for example, the opposition party, the democratic republican party was very enthusiastic about the french and some of the ideals of the french revolution. >> jefferson in particular. >> this is where they begin to go in different directions. also, some of the press is very vehement in their criticism of the administration.
1:05 am
so they muzzled the press and said that this is probably the thing that john adams is most criticized for. abigail, i believe, supported john. abigail was even more vehement during i think she is even more conservative than john during that time. >> the upshot of this, the people who were breaking the alien and sedition acts -- >> you could be jailed. >> it was said that the press made things up. he had no standards. it was not the they were supporting the french, but they were making up stories that were not the truth europe adams was
1:06 am
very seriously worried about this. jefferson -- that were not the truth. adams was very seriously worried about this. jefferson felt that the states should be passing the alien and sedition laws. he was very much in favor of the states. at that time, people did not have the same or about suppressing the press that we have today. >> it was in the heat of the moment. rex right. >> stephen from chicago. >> they say history repeats itself. i was wondering if there any presidents and first ladies or first couples that most resemble or are analogous of the adams is of the adamses?
1:07 am
is that the relationship standard? >> i hope you will take that question. [laughter] >> there was no one else like abigail and john. first of all, we don't have the insight into anybody else's lives. these letters were recently revealed. lyndon johnson's love letters to lady bird were revealed. but there is nothing like the abigail and john exchange. [laughter] >> it is when they are situated in such a important time and there were so many players in so many stages. that is what sets them apart. this is from twitter. >> people came by, but not so
1:08 am
much during the presidency. there is a time when john is really quite ancient. and it is some time at your abigail has passed. cadets from west point came and they had a band and they played and marched and they were served punch and john adams gave a talk a patriotic talk to the troops. occasionally, people would come by. but they did not entertain in the sense of politically entertaining. it was family for the most part. >> at mount vernon and the washingtons, they seem to be constantly be welcoming people to their house.
1:09 am
>> people wanted to be close to the president. social standards would different than. and standards of hospitality were different. if someone came to your door, you just didn't turn them away. although they might like to have done so. >> they continue to read letters during the time they were separated? >> she did. when she is with john, it isn't that she's at writing letters. she is writing letters to other people. while he was president, two of their children were in europe on a diplomatic mission. so there are a lot of letters between thomas boylston and john quincy adams to their parents, especially to abigail, and she writes to her sister. she writes wonderful letters to her sisters who were back in acid usage and new hampshire. >> -- who were back in massachusetts and new hampshire. >> i have been much diverted with little occurrence and it shows how little founded in
1:10 am
nature the so much posted notion of liberty and equality is. neighbor paxon came in and requested to speak to me. his errand was to inform me that, if james went to school, it would rick at the school because the other lads refused to go. why, mr. paxton? has the boy misbehaved? there was no problem at that time. they refused to go to school with a black wife. it continues on in this vein saying that they allowed him to play at the dance and they would still go. and she closes this section saying, "the boy is a free man as much as any of the young men. and as because his face is black he is not to be denied
1:11 am
instruction. is this the way we would have done to others as we would have done to us? >> she is hoping to influence his thinking. how concerned was he with rights and equality's at his point in his presidency? >> it is a little different thing. this is jean who she is talking about, who it is -- who is an adams servant. james was a special person to abigail. one abigail goes to philadelphia a few months after this, john goes don't bring james. he didn't want blacks in philadelphia as his servant. not really clear why, but i think he sensed that they could be corrupted.
1:12 am
her were much fewer blacks in massachusetts. and there were more blacks and slaves in philadelphia. he said don't have them -- don't have him come beyond new york. he says, you have a beat him. i think she taught him to read. i don't know that she was instructing john adams so much on this as that she was showing her love and affection for james as an individual regardless of his race. >> here is something from our viewers. it looks like she is quoting a letter from john to abigail. do you have any thoughts on that that's -- on that?
1:13 am
>> it is a wonderful quote. they had no idea there would be a war. they may have suspected there would be a war. they had no idea of its duration or that it would separate the colonies. we would have to go back and view it from their point of view. he is saying we don't know what is going to happen. >> we said at the outset that she was criticized by the press who sometimes used the phrase to describe her as mrs. president. what is the context of that reference? >> the context is the spirit is these. press at the time.
1:14 am
he was the american minister to great attend. she was accustomed to happen -- she was accustomed to having those relations with the press. >> did she complain to family members about this? was she hurt by the way she was treated in the press? >> i think she was more defensive about her husband. abigail did not have great ambition for herself, but she had great ambition for john and for boys. but particularly for john quincy adams. and she was very defensive of them. i think this is one of the reasons why the relationship with jefferson is so difficult because she had really loved thomas jefferson as a friend and she believed jefferson turned on her husband.
1:15 am
rex how did support er? >> she went there. she was with him all of the time. when he needed her, she was there. >> was there an avenue for her to respond to the press? >> not that i can think of. her avenues to responding to the press was that she was in favor of the sedition laws. she liked the idea of curtailing the press. >> let's take our next phone call from oka raton, florida. >> good program. thank you for taking my call. i am a member of the press. for two colors tonight kind -- to callers tonight kind of insinuated that she was not a good matter. i believe john quincy was a leading abolitionist and here we
1:16 am
are following american history. whether it is the kkk doing their thing in the south today, the john birch society, the tea party now which is 97% caucasian, can we at least give abigail -- throw her a bouquet of roses and say that she might have influenced john quincy in terms of the color of a man's skin should not be placed -- >> john quincy lived with her until he was 11 years old. then he went to europe with john. she did not see him again until he was 17 or 18. so he became a man. >> under the tutelage of his father. >> but she was very influential in the first 11 years. i balk at this tendency to blame
1:17 am
the mother every time something goes wrong with the children. circumstances happen. there are genes. there is possibly a genetic disposition to alcoholism in that family. abigail's brother died of it and there were apparently other family members. a revolution happened when her children grew up. they grew up in wartime. that can be very damaging to children's psyches. >> the year 1800 was a very, very difficult year for the adamses. a campaign for reelection hard- fought. thomas jefferson, he lost that good the year that he moved to the white house.
1:18 am
and they also lose theirs -- they also lost their son. let's talk about the decision to run for office again. did abigail support this? >> we don't have as much as we had in the decision for the previous election where they agonized over it. it went back and forth. there are letters -- should i or shouldn't i? i don't have as much of that for the second term. part of it was, because by this time the political parties were so strong, he felt he didn't want the other party in. he wanted to follow through with what he was doing. even though there were several bad things happening around or to the adams family during that time, actually, in 1800, he had one of his great successes. the convention with the french that ended the undeclared war.
1:19 am
>> i would also emphasize that the political parties were not written into the constitution. and washington and adams both and many of the people around them did not anticipate political parties. they thought they had a constitution. they had a government. everybody would agree to it would be harmonious. it did not work out that way. and it was a surprise to them. it was a surprise to adams that there was so much dissension during his administration. >> they lived the last four months of his administration as occupants of the white house. it looks pretty miserable. what was life like in the mansion for the adamses? >> it was pretty miserable. they didn't have heat.
1:20 am
they had to gather wood in that area. the mansion was not finished when they moved in. abigail describes georgetown as a swamp. the city was not yet built. they moved in before there was a proper white house. also, i think it affected the way she entertained. it affected her entire role as for slater -- first lady. it's limited what she could do in that drafty, cold, incomplete house. >> it must have been shared misery by the members of congress who were arriving in the city. >> most of them lived in rooming houses and boarding houses. it was seasonal. congress came and went. there weren't a lot of people who lived year-round in washington at that time.
1:21 am
>> we have this graphic we have been showing of laundry being hung inside the white house. did that really happen? >> i don't know here in >> i don't either. it sounds like abigail [indiscernible] >> it would not have been a good place to drive -- to dry laundry because it was drafty and cold. >> we talked about charles dying. anymore on how that affected her and the death of the sun in that turbulent year? >> it was a terrible heartache for her and for him. >> he did write to jefferson in later years that it was the greatest grief of my life. >> jan from boise. >> thank you for putting on this series. i am curious about what role
1:22 am
religion played in her life given that her father was a pastor. my sense is that john was raised with more calvinist bent, but was more unitary as an older man. what about abigail? >> thank you for that question. abigail was a very religious woman. she was so religious that, in times of turbulence, when things went wrong in her life, she thought it was a case of punishment. there was an epidemic urine for years when john was over -- there was an epidemic during the years when john was away. she truly believe that life was providential. her letters continually reference the bible. i think that, when things got added in her life, she became -- got bad in her life, she became
1:23 am
more religious and more and serve it is religion -- and more conservative religion. >> we continue our series about the first lady's. when john adams realized he lost the presidency, how did he take it? how did abigail take it? >> by the time the electoral vote was counted, they very well knew that he would not be elected. i think they were disappointed. one of the things that johnson throughout his public life was that he would always retire, that he would always go back the farm and retire. he loved the farm. in that sense, it wasn't so bad. but i think it was the defeat of the ideas and what some people
1:24 am
refer to as the revolution of 1800, because it was such a revelation -- it was such a dramatic change in the other party coming in. he did not attend the in migration. some thought he was being spiteful. he had to catch an early touch an early stage to get back. part of it was a man who, in a sense, he felt the trade him and defeated him. i think that was probably the hardest thing to get >> the couple that's been so many years apart and the development of their country and now had this opportunity to live together, how long did they live together in the white house years? >> abigail lived to 1818. he lived together for 18 years. >> how was it for them? >> they were right deal it for them and very difficult -- they were idyllic for them and very difficult in some ways.
1:25 am
abigail refused to visit her daughter because she said i can't leave john. during that time, her daughter had a mastectomy in 1811 without anesthesia. >> that is so hard to think of. >> she ultimately died two years later. it was a time of satisfaction and peace and also very great disruptions in their lives. they had problems with grandchildren and children and constant drama going on. one grandson went and fought in the revolution in venezuela and they had to bail him out. or not bail him out.
1:26 am
john refused to bail him out there >> they had some financial difficulties during there was a bank failure that their son had invested in. but this is when it sounds like "downtown abbey of me -- "downtown abbey." >> the daughter had a terrible husband and they were terribly worried about her. >> from the perspective of your life's work and the letters, they were together. they start writing letters at that point? >> they stopped writing letters to each other. but they wrote letters to others. >> was more prolific? >> john quincy adams is frequently away on diplomatic assignments or would later be secretary of state. he was in washington and a senator and at sort of thing.
1:27 am
abigail has a sister who lives in new hampshire at that time. i think mary krantz is her favorite, her older sister. they lived allegedly nearby so there was not a lot of correspondence. >> she was close to her granddaughter caroline. so there is correspondence between her and this young girl. >> when john quincy goes to europe, he meets his wife. what was the relationship between the two adams women? >> i think lisa cochran was quite shocked by the culture he knew in length after having had a rather genteel upbringing in england and entrance and was quite shocked by the people and the customs. even trichet tendency. >> -- even church attendance. >> when she went to the old house, she said it was like going to noah's ark.
1:28 am
>> we have a closing video, "a return to peace field." >> abigail enjoyed 17 years of retirement here at sealed with her husband john adams. here, the old couple could dote on their children and grandchildren and enjoy the peace and tranquility that this place offer them throughout their lives. the president that -- the president's bedroom was inviting, sunny and right. abigail enjoyed many hours in this room writing to her friends, writing to her emily, enjoying the time with her husband. on october 27, 1818, abigail passed away from typhoid fever. she was 74 years old and john adams had lost his dearest friend. the only way he could find comfort was in the 10. he would pen a letter to thomas jefferson, leading jefferson know that he had lost a dear friend and he would say to his
1:29 am
family, if only i could lie down beside her and die, too. >> can you talk about john adams life in the years after abigail died? >> john was surrounded by family. so he was not isolated. he had always is hostess and caretaker a niece who had lived with them for most of her life. grandchildren came and children came. there was always traffic through the house and people came and militia came from boston, as you said. so there was a lot going on during those years. he was quite palsy. he couldn't write his own letters. he kept this incredible
1:30 am
correspondence with jefferson in those years. >> culminating with the two of them finally coming to peace and dying together on the 50th anniversary of the declaration of independence, july 4, which is really quite an amazing piece of american history. there is a question here about here is a question about whether or not the bloodline is still living. is there an addams family somewhere? >> why don't you respond to that. >> there are several that the massachusetts historical society of the adams memorial association. i have more than 100 members. we frequently get questions from people thinking and believing that they are related or a descendent of john and abigail.
1:31 am
some of them might be, but many more descendents that are possible. >> the name gets lost. women got married, so the adams name gets lost. >> last caller. caller: what became of the children after abigail died? did they remain with the adams at peacefield? >> they were adults when she died. the daughter was married. the son was also an adult. there were no small children. >> last video of abigail's death at peacefield.
1:32 am
all right. we do not have that. we have a little bit of time left. bringing this full circle, what was her impact on american history? she was influential. as we think back to the american revolution, she was -- a record of letter provides the only insight we have of the evolution at a sustained level during the entire period of the revolution. it is significant. she was an exemplary person. she tells us about women's lives and what it was like to be not just the first lady, but to be a wife and a mother and a sister and a daughter. >> what would you say? >> the thing i always think
1:33 am
about with abigail is the relationship, the partnership. without an abigail, there is no john, and without a john, there is no abigail. >> the reason she is important is because of the relationship? >> right. without the support she provided, she was so trustworthy. he could go off and be this great public person. >> to our guests, c. james taylor and edith gelles, thank you for allowing us to understand the life and legacy of first lady abigail adams. >> thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
1:34 am
♪ encore of the our first season of "first ladies: influence and image."
1:35 am
our website has a more about the and a special section "welcome to the white house." in thenicles life executive mansion. arewith association, we offering a special edition of a of the portrait about free of each fi -- of a look of the portrait of each first lady. you can get the book at c- up next on c-span, our c-span town examining the surveillance program. cutsis followed by budget on military preparedness. and later, nsa data collection.
1:36 am
>> tomorrow night on the encore presentation of "first ladies" -- >> you would be invited into the dining room for the drawing room. dolly madison would have an unusual setting for the period and sit at the head of the table. her husband would sit at the center of the table. dollywood correct -- direct the conversation -- dolly would correct -- direct the conversation. there could be as many as 20 people served in the dining room. sheuld not be unusual. considered the dining to be more relaxing than entertaining in washington.
1:37 am
>> the encore presentation of our series "first ladies." >> when it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your phone calls. that is not what this program is about. as was indicated, what the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers, durations of calls. they are not looking at people's names and they're not looking at content. >> these programs are controversial. we understand that. they are sensitive. they are also important. they allow us to have the ability to gather this chatter that i referred to. if we did not have these
1:38 am
programs, we would not be able to listen in on the bad guys. >> there is a balance between security and liberty. there is a time to re-examine that. it is appropriate to do that now. >> we are not going to have a perfect system unless you have people under constant lock down and constantly being monitored. and even then, you would have a police state and have a much more dangerous society. many have said they do not think this program is affect it. -- effective. as to whether american's privacy is being violated, ask constituents. they will tell you that their privacy is being violated. >> there is a more inconvenience to americans by taking out your shoes at an airport then by this program which is pointed to finding people who have a real
1:39 am
threat to the united states. >> some of the recent voices commenting on the revelation of the nsa surveillance programs made known in the last couple of months. for our c-span townhall, congress is on recess for the next five weeks. we cannot go on recess at c- span. our job is to cover the house and the senate and bring you the forums where public policy, politics, and issues are discussed. that is what we have planned for the next five weeks. we will look at issues like the nsa surveillance program. we will hear from you and journalists who cover the story. good evening and welcome to the conversation. there are a couple of ways to participate. you can do that by phone, and the numbers are on the screen.
1:40 am
we have also seen tweets. we have posted a particular question on facebook. do you support the nsa program? let's check a couple of those responses as we wait for some of your phone calls to come in. tom says -- i do not support the nsa. the fourth amendment means something to me. brian says -- who surveilled the survey letters? -- surveillers? if you have, nothing to hide, nothing to fear. annette says -- it is a violation of the fourth
1:41 am
amendment. it does not matter what administration it is under. i'm not convinced that our dad -- data is not being stored somewhere, so that as some point e-mails will be read and calls look at. some of the action so far at some of the conversation we have been showing you from the aspen security forum, the former director of national intelligence, he commented on the necessity for balancing security and freedom. here is a little bit of what he had to say. [video clip] >> it turns out we can gather a lot more than we can turn into intelligence. we do have to continue to get this information into analysts. we have to give the machines that will help them deal with the enormous volumes. we need good people who can go beyond what the machines can do. that being said, it is possible to -- for the intelligence
1:42 am
community to do everything perfectly come and get for something like that to happen in the united states, the measures the country would have to take to prevent those sorts of things from happening would go far beyond the bounds of intercity if you want a government into our lives. we set this boundary on how much information the government can have to make them safe and how much you want to keep private. that is something we have to work on and debate. where it is now, we can stop some things and not other things. i think we do not want to go further in terms of gathering more data on americans.
1:43 am
what we do now is under law. >> the former director of national intelligence, dennis blair, on the nsa surveillance program. it was revealed by edward snowden, a former contractor for the national security administration. those revelations were made known in the spring of this year. this c-span town hall we are taking your thoughts on the nsa program. we will talk to jonathan in a moment who has written about it for pro-publica. you can participate on facebook and twitter. this is real midwest liberty who treats -- that man convincing people that spying on you is good, is the same and the claimed he could assassinate
1:44 am
americans. another says -- what the nsa is to be against the constitution. end of debate. there is an article written in the national journal. they point out some of the debate ahead in both the house and the senate. he writes -- the nsa future -- a tale of two committees. in both the house and senate, the judiciary and intelligence committees will fight over the survival of surveillance. they will determine whether america's most prominent dissident will achieve his stated goal of dismantling the national securities architecture of oppression, as he called it. there is pressure from that nation's most powerful tech companies. battle lines are being formed
1:45 am
between the judiciary and intelligence communities in both the house and senate. firebrand defenders are seeking to shut down or fundamentally overhaul surveillance. intelligence committee members who tend to stand behind the nsa are trying to preserve as much as they can of what they consider an essential program. that is from the national journal last week. let's go to calls. democrat line. what do you think? do you support the nsa program? caller: i do not. i voted for obama. i amazed of all of the laws that are being passed that are constitutionally questionable. i am wondering why from a media respective -- it seems like one of the -- it should be a debate. where is the limit? it is becoming watered down.
1:46 am
we are becoming a police state. it does not seem like anyone is doing anything about it. republicans are the tea party people who -- where does it stop? >> you are calling on our democrat line. we had a little bit of conversation before about how to divide the lines. when you look at the defense bill a few weeks back, there were opposition on both sides of the aisle for that amendment. where do you see this as a
1:47 am
political issue? is it democratic or republican? caller: it looks like you have some republicans who are in support of it and some democrats that are in support of it. i am with rand paul on this one. i am questioning why i am a democrat? i lean more with the republicans. i appreciate the house and having tea party representatives there who are standing their ground on some of these critical issues. i hope the tea party brings this one to the forefront. again, i feel that this is spiraling out of control. >> is this an issue that would sway you to rand paul? if you ran for president? -- if he ran for president? is this the sort of issue that would have you go for a
1:48 am
candidate outside of your party? caller: definitely. i would do it today if he were running. >> thank you for your call. idaho. independent line. good evening. caller: hello. i have a guess as to what the nsa is doing and what my phone service is doing. as far as taping my information and giving it to the nsa collected store, i feel like just because they have a uniform on is silly. man is not perfect, and man cannot create a perfect law. we will always have these people who most the time are criminals with badges that the law protects. edward snowden was basically on the side of the people.
1:49 am
>> thank you for your call. portland, democrat line. caller: good evening. i agree with her completely. i think that snowden is a whistleblower. he is important. i am a yellow dog democrat. for the first time, i am very disturbed. i do not want a secret government within my government. for the first time, i am questioning this administration. i feel discouraged and conflicted. i have not felt this way since i was a student for kennedy. thank you. >> thank you. you are seeing video from president obama earlier in phoenix talking about a new program he is introducing. we will see that later in our schedule.
1:50 am
the president will be a guest of jay leno on "the tonight show." there was a press release where obama takes a seat on jay's couch tonight while twentysomethings take a seat on their parents couch and they talk about unemployment. massachusetts, independent line. caller: good evening. thank you for the opportunity to talk. as a bostonian, i do not have a clear understanding of why the federal police people and the federal did not share a lot of information with the local police leading up to what happened with us. that really bothered me. iowa stop the purpose was that we are all on the same team and working in the -- i always thought the purpose was that we are all on the same team and working together. how much of this is politically driven and in terms of how much information is shared?
1:51 am
>> in the case of the boston bombings, do you think that more nsa surveillance might have discovered this? caller: my understanding is that the russian people shared a lot of information with the american people, but it did not get to the people in boston. you spend all of this money and build an agency and homeland security and so on, but somehow that is not getting through to doing the job. my feeling is that the reason the job is not getting done is because it is a cultural issue. do you know what i mean? >> let's hear from ohio. independent line. go ahead. caller: thank you for the
1:52 am
opportunity. i am deeply suspicious of metadata mining. i want security and liberty. i do have a problem with them -- is anyone no how many law- enforcement agencies we have in -- does anyone know how many law-enforcement agencies we have in this country? it is out of control. >> nevada. republican line. what do you think of the nsa surveillance programs? do you support them? caller: i'd appreciate the opportunity to make a comment. i would like to thank law- enforcement for the efforts, but recognize the efforts must be
1:53 am
done at constitutional means. section 213 sneak and peek searches allows the government access to american homes and private property without being properly served a search warrant as required by the fourth amendment. i have been unable to get be -- reconciliation as far as you can reconcile sneak and peek searches with the fourth amendment. >> where did you begin? caller: i began my efforts in the spring of 2004. i contacted presidents, senators, congressmen, ivy league confessors am a retired attorneys, and many others. i have received correspondence why it is a justified law. i heard it is considered legal by the three pillars of
1:54 am
government, but it doesn't reconcile with the constitution, which takes precedence. >> thank you for your call. we are doing the c-span town halls throughout august and early september with congress out. we are checking out some tweets. they are doing their own town halls. he was bill johnson of ohio. he tweets about what he is up to. he got to speak to hard-working coal miners at the century mine near bealsville. he patched -- attached a photo of that. there is news about a retirement on capitol hill. there is a headline from a louisiana newspaper. representative alexander won't run for re-election.
1:55 am
meeting might decide fate of obama-putin visit. secretary of state john kerry and defense secretary will meet with their counterparts on friday in washington to talk about a number of issues. they say at the top of the list are difficult questions that are sure to be the status of the meeting between mr. obama and mr. putin, which has been in doubt for weeks because of issues that include russia's refusal to return edward snowden united states to face charges of leaking national security secrets. that is a reporter from the new york times. a reporter from the washington post pokes fun. there is an editorial cartoon. putin is saying to edward snowden, here is a whistle you can blow whenever you see a gay person. there are stricter laws against homosexual people in russia.
1:56 am
jonathan stray has written extensively about the issue of nsa surveillance for pro- publica. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> you might have been listening in. we have had a couple of questions about the extent of the law enforcement in terms of surveillance. let's start with the nsa. how widespread does the revelation show their surveillance programs are of u.s. citizens? >> i think it was a shock to everyone about what we learned from snowden's revelation. the nsa is collecting information on potentially every american. it is from telephone metadata. that is pretty much every call you have made. they store that data for five years. >> what happens to it after
1:57 am
that? >> well, we do not really know. they say they can only store it for five years, so in theory, it has to be destroyed after that. another program we are learning about collected e-mail metadata. so they are doing e-mail, too. they say that ended in 2011. >> walk us through the metadata. what exactly is that? why is it important in this data collection program? >> when you are investigating terrorism, what you are looking for is not just individual people, but networks. if you found one person, you're interested and who else is working with them? you want to look at who they communicate with. this information of who talks to who can reveal more about you and what you are actually saying.
1:58 am
example, if you call your spouse every night, that leaves a record in the metadata -- you can see who someone is close to and what their relationship is, people who they are talking to that you would not expect them to talk to, or unusual patterns of calling. it is the connections between people that the nsa is interested in. it can be more revealing than what you are saying. >> is there any way to judge how much more the government would know through these phone records and metadata? consumers leave trails in our business online and habits online. >> honestly i think in private hands such as google and amazon, things that you order, they keep
1:59 am
track of web searches, that is probably more information than what the nsa. technology companies, at least some of them have been -- resistant to giving that information. we do not know of any false records. one of the things is that google might know everything about you, but it would not knock at your door. >> jonathan stray is a freelance journalist. he joins us from the columbian journalism school in new york. we are here to take your phone calls and comments as well. thank you for joining the conversation. caller: hello. >> go ahead.
2:00 am
caller: hi. my name is karen. thank you for hearing me. i want you to know that many realize that law enforcement and investigators are only human. they can make mistakes. i was investigated. i had this person do criminal activity in regards to me. it sounds like, who else could i write to? the problem is that they are undercover. how do you know? if you have some people who have the unusual ability to know things, and i do come and i figured out i have been
2:01 am
investigated. it sounds bizarre, but i have proof. he stole. he did very bad things. i'm not surprised. we have an fbi agent who did bad things. they are only human. they will do wrong things themselves. nothing has changed since the 1970's. they are still doing everything they d o they do these things and there is no oversight. >> we appreciate your comment. jonathan stray, she introduced a human element into it. how could that be a problem with this data getting out? >> that is exactly the problem. watch every person in the country is a power that is time president did. no nation has ever had this until the last 10 years.
2:02 am
many feel that the oversight that exist is inefficient. that means only the government can make the case. no one else gets to argue the other side of the issue. ultimately, we have no way of knowing what is actually happening. >> that caller was from california. i want to play you a comment or a former california representative. a former intelligence committee chair. she dashed here is what she had
2:03 am
to say at the aspen forum. [video clip] in order to find those people here in the united states are outside -- i voted for a provision to authorize people under strict supervision to figure out the best way to do that. i'm not a trained intelligence analyst. when i voted for it, we voted on the initial proposals. >> the program that she voted for at the same program today? or has it changed? >> several groups were warning about possible abuses and different interpretations of these laws. so, i think it is hard to argue that this is not the program that congress intended. what we are seeing now is that it is certainly not the program that the public thought it was. many people are shocked.
2:04 am
it indicates there was some mismatch between what americans thought was happening and what is actually happening. >> here is a tweet -- who is going to keep us safe? if not nsa, who? surely not edward snowden. he ran away. caller: i support monitoring of phones and e-mails and so forth.
2:05 am
as long as the data gathered is not used against anybody without future or further legal warrants being issued. our government has had the authority to monitor our communications in a wide variety of cases all the way back to the 1950's. if you ever had a relative call you from a military installation, it has been recorded. they did not care if it was christmas. they recorded that call. if you ever got a call from a family member at ship on see --
2:06 am
sea, they recorded it. it is not something new. i realized the government like the irs can get out of control and can go overboard. i have no problem with congressional oversight. that is important. but to think checking data is going overboard -- i look at it from the standpoint as we have phone books. they have our names in them and addresses and phone numbers. similarly, we have a reverse directory. you can look up a phone number and get the name and address of the person.
2:07 am
this is in electronic copy of the phone numbers or computer addresses. i do not have a problem with recording that and retaining that. >> jonathan stray. >> you are right. the government has long monitored communications of many different types. if i'm suspicious of a particular person, i can have you monitored. that is something else. this is mass surveillance. this is looking into everyone's communications without probable cause. the nsa is allowed to track the information and pass it on to that are law-enforcement. they are not supposed to look at communications of americans. unless there is evidence of a [indiscernible] we do not know how often that might be happening.
2:08 am
it is very disturbing. that says that communications can be used to build a case. i think that is new and different and very scary. >> a question on twitter from ed with the ability of fake data, could that value of collected data decrease? >> you could try to have fake data, but it is hard. they tried to combine data from a lot of different locations. they know everyone e-mailed and called.
2:09 am
it is possible to know where someone is by tracking their cell phone. in theory, it is possible to completely fake your online existence. it is hard. >> let's hear from california. independent line. caller: how's it going? thank you for the chance to be able to call in. i have a few things to say and a question. i want to say that we can look at the percentage of americans who are against this. the only ones out of touch are
2:10 am
those who are voting against it. my question is how do we get them in line to go along with the wishes of the american people? >> you are asking me? that is a good one. well, the most recent house vote failed. there were votes to defund the metadata collection program. i think the politics of this have shifted. i'm not sure what else to say. if you believe the government is pursuing something wrong, it is your right and your prudence to speak up. >> jonathan stray mentions that vote on the defense amendment to defund the program.
2:11 am
caller: if a police officer wants to get data of the calls and all that, he would have to get a search warrant. he can only do that if you suspect someone of being a criminal. but if the government is doing that for all americans across the nation, that sends the message that all of you americans are all criminals. i find that extremely insulting.
2:12 am
>> a sound similar to a woman who tweets -- the huge issue with this program is that they are taking everyone's data. you can have reasonable suspicion of the entire country. >> that is what is different about the surveillance. you can watch everyone all the time. that was not possible before. we need restraint on that. a lot of people feel that not only is the legal restraint not there, but that we were lied to about the extent of the surveillance. >> how do you see edward snowden's role in this? i'm not asking if you think he is a whistleblower or a traitor. you have gotten a lot of information.
2:13 am
10 or 15 years, how will he be remembered? how will all of this be remembered? >> we would not be having this conversation without edward snowden. in fact, this issue has been attempted to be raised a number of times and were unsuccessful. they could not say what was happening. they were raising warnings that if americans knew, they would be shocked. to the extent that the discussion we're having now comes because of what he did, this changes things. that ultimately will be a different story of a legacy. >> a sympathetic view toward
2:14 am
edward snowden is the head of the aclu. here is what he had to say at the aspen summit. [video clip] >> i will go out on a limb. not that i am not already on a limb, but let me fall off it. [laughter] edward snowden, i think he did this country a service. i have not said that publicly until this point. i think he did this country a service by starting a debate that was anemic and left to government officials or people do not fully understand what was happening. regardless of where you come out on a, there is a big public debate. many lawsuits filed on the nsa program. wait a minute. that is not the law i thought i signed. i find it rather trouble some
2:15 am
when i find that carney goes to such lengths that he is not a human rights activist and not able to lower. who made him king of the human rights community? right? >> mcbride as criminally charged snowden. >> it is a bad message to send people who try to take the laws into their hands by doing this is to make public service. >> the system has not worked. we have tried seven times to get this issue into public court. we were kicked out of the court. the justice department lawyer says it was a cascade of speculation when our client said we think the data has been collected by the government. we had no proof, so there were no standing.
2:16 am
the only way we could get before the courts and have a standing was because snowden leaked the fact that we are -- he fixed the standing problem. >> ahead of the american civil liberties union and panelist in a spirited discussion on the nsa program and edward snowden. that is our topic tonight. it is part of our c-span town hall. i am joined from columbia university where he is on the faculty at the journalism school is jonathan stray. we are taking your phone calls on this issue. republican line. good evening. go ahead. caller: i think everyone is missing the big picture. the terrorists are winning the
2:17 am
war. by bringing down the twin towers, they have made our government spend trillions of dollars that has led to our deficit. even worse, our country is getting torn apart because of our civil liberties which our country was founded on. because they brought the twin towers down, the government is taking our civil liberties away. i can understand what the nsa is doing. i wish i could trust the government, but we can. >> do or do is the government brought the twin towers down? caller: no. the terrorists. listen to me. because the terrorists brought the towers down, they made us spend trillions of dollars that led us to the deficit.
2:18 am
even more, they made as paranoid. we are losing our civil liberties. they are winning because they made us spend money and because we are tearing each other apart because our government -- i can understand why the government is doing this, but we are losing our civil liberties. it is because of the terrorists. >> let's hear from jonathan stray. >> well, things have certainly changed after september 11. we have had categories of laws that were unthinkable before. assassinating overseas. that was new. there are a bunch of laws that have changed.
2:19 am
at the very least, a departure from long-standing legal principles. all of that happened more than 10 years ago. what we are seeing today in this discussion on the current court cases is we are finally coming to grips with what we have done as a country. we are starting to review many of these questions in a public discussion. it is a discussion that many people felt should have happened in 2001 for various reasons. >> what do we know of similar programs by u.s. allies such as the uk and france and canada?
2:20 am
>> in some ways we know more about the british intelligence agency. we know the details of how much information they are collecting. as of last year, they have hacked over 200 fiber off it tables. these are the main cables that carry telephone and cable traffic between countries. it is very broad. i mailed a word document. the a mentioned google map stuff. that was dirty days. that is a remarkable scale -- that was 30 days. that is a remarkable scale. it started to come out that they have an interception program. i cannot say anything about canada.
2:21 am
you have to assume that most technologically advanced countries have a pretty serious program going on. in many cases, it is a lot more intrusive than what others are doing. in many countries, you cannot post things on social media. to me, i see this interference being the internet as part of a broader issue. we're at a point in history where the government is trying to extend the balance of their control in ways of which i do
2:22 am
not in is good for the most part. >> a quick check on facebook before we go back to calls. do you support the nsa program? linda says -- no. why does a government need to spy on the average american? and the patriot act was written in, foreign intelligence -- surveillance now is on steroids down to our credit card usage. big brother, time to rein it in. another says -- irs was the final straw. you can go to cpan. caller: my question is i do not believe that we really know who snowden is working for you who manning was working for. we see the arab spring out of manning and now snowden today on
2:23 am
policies that should have been discussed more energetically back in 2006 when lawsuits started and the court said they had no ground to make that suit. now we are paying attention. i do think it is kind of like that seesaw thing where they go to far to the right and then they have gone too far to the left. i kind of agree with that one republican caller. one thing that is bothering me
2:24 am
is calling isreal a -- and having this nuclear presence and shutting down embassies all over the place out there, it seems like the timing of this is amazing. i'm not sure who snowden is working for, frankly. it might serve somebody's purpose. >> thank you. >> that is a lot of topics there. i have no information on who snowden may or may not be working for. i do not think anyone can know that. i do find it interesting. you could have flown to hong kong and headed to the chinese and we would have never known about it. you can make arguments that it helps the enemies with
2:25 am
information going public. i understand that. it is a legitimate question. what he did do is start a public conversation that could not have existed before. he solved the standing problem for some of these lawsuits. whether or not he has changed u.s. relations with russia or china, he has shaken things up. >> one says -- security is complex for increasingly more complex reasons. it is why ethics and effort was naturally at the top of government. there are some safeguards that have been built into programs. here is what he had to say. [video clip] >> chief alexander was director of nsa.
2:26 am
we took them to the floor of the operations. it is not only the people who are monitoring the situation. it is the fbi and lawyers. signs are plastered all over the place. the definition of what constitutes an american. there is congressional oversight. there is an inspector general. all kinds of safeguards. i met with george bush when he talked about this program when it was first revealed by the new york times. when al qaeda calls somebody in the united states, i want to know who they are calling. that is the underlying philosophy of this program. that is the purpose. we are talking again. it tends to spill over into people thinking we are monitoring their content.
2:27 am
we are not. these are metadata. it is outside of the envelope that is sent to your mailbox. that information. and the date stamp and the postage. >> jonathan stray, do you think the director painted an accurate picture of the program? >> i think there is a problem with metadata. it is not the content. who you talk to, who do associate with is in many cases more valuable the private information of what you are saying. there is looking at networks of people and communities and looking at their patterns of influence. i think it is metadata -- oversight -- and they have posters on the wall and regulations and agents monitoring it. i suspect there have been strong and good faith efforts to protect americans and the
2:28 am
constitution within the nsa. even if all of that is true, we are still left with a problem. if all of this is happening in secret, how can be sure it will not be used? how can we be sure the compromises that they have made are the right ones? i think the trail is mostly about the fact that our leaders felt that we, as people, were not responsible enough to not be trusted to have a discussion about where to put the limits. >> a couple more minutes with
2:29 am
our guest jonathan stray. we are looking at the nsa surveillance program. ohio. independent line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i appreciate it. >> sure. caller: rumsfeld said we do not know what we do not know. i think that is true. i do not know what snowden has released that is bad. i know what we were told, but i do not know exactly. an example in florida, a bus with a microphone. someone can be listening to me having a conversation about business. people can listen in to my
2:30 am
conversation for opportunity for themselves and not necessarily for some nefarious reason. most of us do not know from the people i talk to and the news i hear, i do not know what is going on. >> thank you. any thoughts on his two points? >> first of all, we are digging to find out what is going on. i hope people find the story i wrote for pro-publica useful. in respects to the -- public and private information if you're talking to a friend at home, you have an expectation of privacy. the issue with the nsa program is that nothing is private. the government is allowed to record all of your communications or at least
2:31 am
metadata without any suspicion or individualized focused. that is the issue. that is the erosion of the notion of privacy. >> jonathan stray has joined us this evening from columbia university in new york where he teaches journalism. >> i teach the intersection of computer science and journalism. it is journalism with computers. if you have a large volume of information such as from the government or a company, you
2:32 am
have to be able to sort through that. it deals with questions like this one where it has a significant and technical component. you cannot really talk about the story without also talking about a lot of the technological details. >> you mentioned the extent of an article -- where can viewers find that? >> on the pro-publica website. >> jonathan stray, thank you for joining us. our conversation continues on the nsa program. there are a couple of ways to participate -- by phone, facebook, and on twitter. a tweet -- we need to have the conversation -- what are our civil liberties worth? your sister's livee? 1000 lives? and then accept the cost. caller: hi.
2:33 am
can you hear me? >> sure can. caller: i'm a farmer from minnesota. the founding fathers are rolling in their graves about what is going on with the constitution. let me give you some questions. if i were to log on and research inspired magazine, i wonder i'm at risk by the monitor by the nsa. or if i were to research the question online how to build a nuclear weapon, what is my risk of the nsa monitoring that information? what assurance do i have as a taxpaying citizen and as a farmer that my online activities are not being monitored? i wonder what assurance i have that this very telephone call
2:34 am
into c-span is not being traced or monitored? how do c-span know the telecommunications are not being observed by the nsa? finally, a big question i have not heard people talk about. what is the psychological issue regarding fear and paranoia? this issue of the nsa is heavy on the american citizens. the american citizen is feeling a lot of fear and anxiety about what the nsa is doing. i would love to see a discussion if the founding fathers could be brought back to life of them having a discussion with the current leadership at the nsa. that would be fascinating. >> we appreciate you calling us this evening. pennsylvania. independent line. you are on the air. caller: i will make it brief. i believe an argument can be
2:35 am
made that the nsa is not cost effective. i am saying that because we can all agree that the terrorists are not foolish. they know what the nsa is doing. i'm guessing that the terrorist are not using their phones or the internet. if they are, they are probably sending out misleading information. the money can be spent elsewhere were wisely. >> thank you. pennsylvania. republican line. caller: thank you to c-span. it is one of the guilty pleasures in life. one thing that everyone has to remember is that this program has been in effect for somewhere around seven or 10 years. i do not know how long it took to get to full speed.
2:36 am
the russians sent us two letters about the boston bombing suspect others. nobody use the system correctly to connect the dots. on one of the sunday talk shows, summons that this is just metadata and not conversations. it is just zeros and ones. this conversation i'm speaking to you is zero and one. there's is almost no analog or telephone line left in the united states. >> right. >> when they try to collect metadata, how did they stop it from picking up the actual data of the phone call? i would be amazed if it has not happened by accident at least a dozen times since they have started this program.
2:37 am
i was in i.t. for years. i had access to everything in the company. >> when you say you had access, give us insight. what could you see? >> i could see every file on every server. >> within the company that you worked for? >> yes. i worked for news organizations, and it was my responsibility not to tamper with anybody's information or go where i should not go. i knew others that would look for files about salaries or files about who got what vacation. don't ever go there again. what program does the government
2:38 am
have, who is misusing the system. if you remember in the 2008 campaign, people searched in the state department database for candidates. they had a system that found that, but they probably found it because it was easy to see who looked for mccain and looked for obama. but how do you check up on -- i want to see what my ex-wife is doing. i go into the system and put her name and. >> you are making a similar point to a facebook comment, who is watching the watchers? what our left of our program tonight, the c-span out all looking at the nsa surveillance
2:39 am
program. >> when it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls. that is not what this program is about. what the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone number is in durations of calls. they are not looking at names -- >> they are very sensitive and very important. there is a balance between security at liberty and all was a time to reexamine that. >> you have a police state, and
2:40 am
much more dangerous society. you have the center and others. the privacy is being violated, just ask my constituents. >> there is more inconvenient and damage to americans by the no-fly list and taking off your shoes than by this program. see you there are talking to and
2:41 am
in order to identify threats. >> they're out for the next five weeks, the august research -- recess. we're going to spend the next five weeks, three nights a week hosting a c-span town hall, taking your thoughts and comments on issues of public policy and politics. the numbers -- we will take your calls in just a moment, your facebook comments, and your tweets.
2:42 am
in just a bit, will be joined by the defense reporter to look at some of the political and politicians on capitol hill on this surveillance issue. they are in recess through the early part of september, and others were asked by the president to head to egypt. they met today with members of the opposition in egypt. they made comments after some of their meetings today, that we urge the release of political prisoners that have been detained since morsi's ousting.
2:43 am
it is impossible to talk to somebody who is in jail, the interim presidency denounced the foreign pressure him as a sign of growing impatience with mediation. charges were filed today. here is the wall street journal reporting on this. the justice department has filed criminal charges against a number of suspects that killed a u.s. ambassador and three other people familiar with that matter. the founder of the islamist militia, they were seen in the compound when it was overrun the according to intelligence officials. trying to keep track of the lawmakers in the august recess,
2:44 am
what will congress do over the recess? planning to visit every island in his state over -- he will be crisscrossing meeting with constituents. a republican is going on a fishing trip with his 83-year- old father in canada. pasadena, texas. robert of the democrats' line. >> i just wanted to say, talking about the defense authorization bill, it was pretty split among the party. 111 democrats voting for it and 93 republicans supporting the amendment. i was just wondering what that
2:45 am
will translate to, primary politics and all of that on the democratic side. you don't really see a strong libertarian later, i am just wondering how that vacuum is going to change. i am just wondering what that is going to look like in the midterm elections. >> robert was mentioning the amendment to the 2014 defense spending bill that would have defunded this nsa program and it fell short, the final vote was 217-205. 111 democrats supported it, and 93 republicans supported it.
2:46 am
you can see the numbers against it. >> thank you for taking my call. my issue with this whole thing is that they have a hearing or a meeting on friday. they have the gentleman from the different branches of there, it is just metadata. as has been brought to our attention earlier, it was just phone numbers. but those are attached to names. yet we are not looking at names. are we supposed to trust these guys? i believe the senator from georgia on the questioning side was on the committee that you can't talk about what is going on was actually after these guys.
2:47 am
are you worried about any more information coming out? i can't say anything because i am sworn to secrecy. we are not worried about anything else coming out, but we are constantly in a barrage of information. >> on that issue of the data, anthony romero addressed that in his recent comments. >> whether it is legitimate in the public eye, it is illegal in our minds. let's break it down. the standard is really important to read the word of a law. they believe that the tangible fangs are relevant. it defies the knowledge or the understanding when you are collecting every single phone call, data. how is that limited to relevance when you say you have all the phone numbers dated to and from the americans?
2:48 am
they had me take that training or relevance is a bit more circumspect. they say it is not content. it can give a lot of content. how long i stay on a phone call, how often i phoned my mother. do i call and the government? the private telephones i happen to have that i don't call at the office because i don't want to lock my call. i have a cellphone because i want to keep that somewhat between us.
2:49 am
that would be complete information and give you a very full picture of what my day is like. i think that the fourth amendment does cover the protection of my metadata. >> the topic is the nsa surveillance programs. jonathan from columbia university posted this article. here is a link to the article. if you are on twitter, follow #cspanchat. at the top of the home page, you will see the link right there. it will be right on that article. another view, they say it is must -- much less intrusive if they can find information faster and not abuse it. >> i wrote a little thing down and it will take a couple seconds. no big deal.
2:50 am
we are now a nation of suspects that fight every moment everyday, so much for the great revolution. can you imagine what washington, jefferson, atoms, the others would say? >> steve on the independent line. >> i come home after my long day of work, at once every three months, i go through one of those checks for the do sobriety checks. >> you get pulled over or you go through them? >> once you reach a certain point, you can't turn left or right.
2:51 am
they don't typically talk to every single person there, but they pick and choose who they think might be drinking. it kind of bothers me because i am working. i am not breaking any laws. this happens hundreds of times a night every night and saves thousands of lives. i don't have our problem with them finding out who i am calling because i am not going any what i shouldn't. i don't know why so many people i don't think this is something that we have to worry about. all they're trying to do is save lives.
2:52 am
it is that simple. >> i am so glad i got on. i think nasa is intrusion. in may of 1919, the allied forces obtained a copy of communist rules and regulations. 50 years later, let's read the rules. get them away from religion, make them superficial, destroy them. get control of all means of publicity. get people's minds off of their government and other trivialities.
2:53 am
they constantly harp on controversial matters of no importance. destroy the people's faith in their leaders by holding them to contempt and ridicule. always seized power as fast and as ruthless as possible. by encouraging government extravagance -- >> do you think that the nsa is using that sort of fame as some sort of manifesto or playbook? >> i am dying get into what's going on. reduce the fear of inflation with rising prices in general discontent. cause unnecessary strikes and civil disorders. >> i will let you go there and move on, thanks for your contribution.
2:54 am
>> thank you for taking my call. i have been watching this for a while. i used to consider myself a conservative. this is the first time ever i have considered myself as an independent because this is out of control. the fbi came out and said that this program have stopped a couple terrorist plots. michael snyder covers this quite a bit. he pointed out that they gave us the intelligence. they said there are 10 other ones we can point to. a couple days later, there are
2:55 am
three dozen. they will expose the truth of how they got this information and nothing. the real enemy is the truth. the lady in houston have the project, she was just trying to uncover voter fraud. she was targeted by seven federal organizations. she was visited by of shut, then made her opener safe to look at all the guns in she was visited by the fbi. they brought the anti-terrorism taskforce. it was a swat team. >> the feeling, perhaps feeling more of an independent.
2:56 am
there was a lot of divided in the debate where the amendment to the defense bill and the house for fiscal year 2014, the amendment would have defunded these surveillance programs and who wanted to give you a flavor of some of that debate, which ultimately failed. >> ladies and gentlemen of the house, this amendment will not stop the proper use of the patriot act to conduct terrorism and intelligence investigations. all this amendment is intending to do is to curtail the ongoing dragnet collection and storage of the personal records of
2:57 am
innocent americans. it does not defund the nsa and will continue to allow them tode narratives. a false narrative has emerged that the federal government is taking in the content of american phone calls. a false narrative has emerged that theederal government is taking in the content of e-mail. it is not true. we need to deal in facts, the facts are real. the only people who have benefited from the revelation of classified information by someone who worked for this government who intentionally and unauthorized declassified some of the most sensitive national security information we have, those enga >> a few weeks before they left
2:58 am
before the recess, the vote was 217-205. most equally divided in the house between democrats and republicans, it failed to pass. next is the defense reporter, thanks for being part of a conversation today. the debate that we showed a bit of, what does this expose and leave for congress to tackle? >> we are going to see a lot of this come back in the fall. we will see similar measures come up and be debated. we will not start to see a lot
2:59 am
of discussion, something that is concerning to a lot of members of congress. we will have hearings. we will see a lot of this come back out. it is just beginning in congress. dodge the administration made the decision to close embassies, issuing a world wide travel alert for americans, a parallel issue. what can you tell us about what the administration is doing in response to these potential threats out bear? >> we heard the embassies abroad were going to be closed. they decided to extend the embassy closing to the end of the week. it is out of an abundance of
3:00 am
caution. there are very regional, so they are not necessarily saying -- j. carney did not say that this was something that was going to threaten the homeland, they asked that many times.
3:01 am
3:02 am
3:03 am
3:04 am
3:05 am
3:06 am
3:07 am
3:08 am
3:09 am
3:10 am
3:11 am
3:12 am
3:13 am
3:14 am
3:15 am
3:16 am
3:17 am
3:18 am
3:19 am
3:20 am
3:21 am
3:22 am
3:23 am
3:24 am
3:25 am
3:26 am
3:27 am
3:28 am
3:29 am
3:30 am
3:31 am
3:32 am
3:33 am
3:34 am
3:35 am
3:36 am
3:37 am
3:38 am
3:39 am
3:40 am
3:41 am
3:42 am
3:43 am
3:44 am
3:45 am
3:46 am
3:47 am
3:48 am
3:49 am
3:50 am
3:51 am
3:52 am
3:53 am
3:54 am
3:55 am
3:56 am
3:57 am
3:58 am
3:59 am
4:00 am
4:01 am
4:02 am
4:03 am
4:04 am
4:05 am
4:06 am
4:07 am
4:08 am
4:09 am
4:10 am
4:11 am
4:12 am
4:13 am
4:14 am
4:15 am
4:16 am
4:17 am
4:18 am
4:19 am
4:20 am
4:21 am
4:22 am
4:23 am
4:24 am
4:25 am
4:26 am
4:27 am
4:28 am
4:29 am
4:30 am
4:31 am
4:32 am
4:33 am
4:34 am
4:35 am
4:36 am
4:37 am
4:38 am
4:39 am
4:40 am
4:41 am
4:42 am
4:43 am
4:44 am
4:45 am
4:46 am
4:47 am
4:48 am
4:49 am
4:50 am
4:51 am
4:52 am
4:53 am
4:54 am
4:55 am
4:56 am
4:57 am
. .
4:58 am
>> i was going to come back to readiness, because i am glad you are raising it, but i also would like to put in a word in defense of the traditional notion of keeping readiness high. have a lieutenant colonel who, if the marine corps needed him, you are looking as fit and trim
4:59 am
as ever, and you could be a great war fighter. if you miss a rotation of reserve duty, it is a big deal. sometimes we get into this idea that a lot of our military is working so hard, give them a break, let them rest. the army was trying to do that for much of the last decade. they realized this focus of being readied all the time was less important than letting people just see their families and take care of their mental health. it sounded touchy-feely at first, but the army was right. however, you would be quick to understand this better than i, frank, let's remember the recent recruit, the 20-year-old who has never properly trained up to the standards that we have come to think ever since tom cruise in "top gun" taught us in peacetime training that never had that standard. now they are being told you can't go shoot ammunition. we still have life ammunition
5:00 am
for your rifle, that is good news, and you can read any books at your base that you want, but the exercises were you drive down the road to the neighboring base where there is an area for a small maneuver, we do not necessarily have all the resources for that, and we do not have the resources to fly you to one of the national training centers to do the large unit maneuver warfare training that historically has been what has made the marine corps and the army so darned good. we do not have that kind of money right now, because you will cut $52 billion out of the physical 2014 budget. you will have to take a lot of it out of readiness. the debate which is important, and we would agree over the longer term you have to wrestle with that. in the short term you take it out of readiness and out of new contracts for industry. those are where you can go for money in the short term. now you have your 20-year-old recruit who is potentially up for call for korea or somewhere else who has never in his or her life done a proper large unit
5:01 am
maneuver training exercise. i think that -- it will not take us back to the hollow force of the post-vietnam era, but it is a little bit of a risky decision and potentially very unfair to that recruit. >> thank you, mike. thank you all. i want to conclude with sort of a small little war game. we are not a war game involving military strategy, and that involves the south china sea, a relationship with vietnam, a relationship with the philippines, with taiwan, and, of course, with china. now, as all of the military people are thinking through how many planes, how many tanks, this and that, there are things happening right now in the south china sea.
5:02 am
some people regard what is happening as threatening. some things that are threatening on the near horizon, others push it way back, 15, 20 years. the people who were in vietnam see it as an immediate danger. people in the philippines, same way. taiwan, same way. the chinese are doing things that you could argue all great powers do. and china is now a great power. it has to be regarded as such. how do we respond intelligently within the constraints that you both have articulated so well, i think, when you see a problem like the south china sea, does that mean you have to send more ships there, more planes they are, does it require a different kind of nonmilitary diplomacy? when the secretary of defense goes to vietnam and says we are developing a commitment, you and i, that is a loaded word within
5:03 am
the context of the u.s.- vietnamese relationship. when the u.s. begins to talk about commit to the defense of vietnam, against whom? obviously, china. vietnam and china have fought each other many times over a thousand years. what is the smart thing right now, taking this military review into account for the u.s. to do? and i will start with mike. >> the smart thing is directed nice that our strategy has been working. for all the ways that we have to stay vigilant toward the rise of china, and towards the real enemy, which is north korea, the overall approach we have had has been successful. we have been present, have strong alliances. china is growing to the point where it is not going to be an unrivaled kind of american superiority, but the last thing we want to do is accelerate the
5:04 am
pace of transition. and this is not necessarily -- to china being equal to the united states in the asia- pacific militarily. there may be a day, although we have great allies and experience in our armed forces and that will be a long ways off before they get to that point. i do not think we want to accelerate the perception of american relative decline. i'm not sure that "decline" is the right word to use, and i would prefer to avoid creating that impression. and therefore i do not want to see sequestration because it will undo the rebalancing. one more point that your question raises, and i will try to make this brief, but some people say if we cut the military, at least we will not have the temptation to go fight as much. if the japanese want to fight over the islands against the chinese, let them do it. we are better off staying out, and if we have a smaller military, we will be disinclined to get involved.
5:05 am
i do not want to fight the chinese over the islands, but leave that aside, if you look at when we fight and when we do not, i do not see a correlation between higher defense budgets and greater likelihood of intervening. the world wars began when we were unprepared. the korean war again when we were unprepared. the vietnam war was little more complex, and you know that case well, but if we fast-forward to the reagan years, in many years the reagan years are still -- people can correct me if they wish afterwards or whatever -- but the reagan years are still seen as the golden years of american defense policy, because we built up the budget and we did not really use the military. isn't that a wonderful outcome? it is not all ronald reagan's great judgment that led to that, that there was no correlation between increasing the budget and increasing the proclivity to intervene militarily. in the 1990's, for operations are supported, we cut the budget and increased the number of
5:06 am
overseas activities, and george w. bush did not run for president -- if you go back to his campaign, he did not run promising a big defense buildup and he was not intending to make foreign policy the centerpiece of his policy, and he ended up making the most fraught decision about the war in iraq. i do not think cutting our military will be the best way to keep us out of trouble in the south china sea. i want steadiness and resolve and let's sustain the rebalance. that means we can make modest cuts in defense. >> amen. i feel like i should applaud. i think that was very powerful on michael's part. i would not put all my eggs in one basket. i want peace through strength or a modern-day version of it because i want a military that deters.
5:07 am
i want other things, too. i want strong allies, our partners' capacity to be robust enough to defend themselves if needed and take care of their neighborhoods, so to speak. i want all of our tools of soft power to be effective, partly through the reinforcement from our hard power. i want a lot of things. i want economic strength, etc. but the pointy edge is to have this tremendously capable military that just gets into their mind a little bit, right? >> is their mind the potential adversary? >> friends and potential adversaries. >> friends as well? >> that is what we call shaping and influencing, but we see every day with our own kids. as a parent, you want to be the one shaping and influencing your kids, but then they go to school everyday and somebody else is telling them something. but you always wanted to be a
5:08 am
calculus. and like i said, it is not just the defense part. i want to be strong and being strong. i would second everything michael said and say where we are not heading, which is a depressing way to end this. >> i want thank you. you are both terrific and a very important, interesting rich kind of discussion of a very competent at problem. and i know that i speak for everybody at brookings in saying thank you all for coming, and thank you all for being with us. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
5:09 am
you will see spam, it has been institute holds a discussion on nsa data programs. it is followed by the and is a director, michael hayden talking about efforts to protect the national electric return cyber attack. washington journal is live at 7:00 a.m.. there'll be a look at how the u.s. protects citizens abroad. and lobbying for the gray shirt form. -- immigration reform. on the next washington journal, a look at how the u.s. protects its citizens and interests. our guess is chad suite.
5:10 am
guest is chad sweet. journalashington features getting from bloomberg businessweek. discuss an article about a new homeland security headquarters. washington journal is live every morning on c-span. president obama continues his jobs and economy toward this week. today, he visits troops and their families at the camp pendleton marine corps base. see it live at 3:50 eastern time. not an anti-suburban person. i did not think everyone needs
5:11 am
to live in new york city. i'm not trying to come across as an expressive -- espresso condo dwelling, elitist or something. i understand that people like the suburbs. i get fed up with daily life in new york city a lot. the fact that there is a shift in the way suburban american -- america is perceived by the people who lived there is too big of a story to ignore. >> leigh gallagher on where the american dream is going. barton gelman is a pulitzer prize-winning journalist. gelman recently moderated a panel discussion on nsa data collection. this discussion from the aspen
5:12 am
security form in july is 51 minutes. >> it is safe to say that only did this panel, my fellow panelists did not expect that they would be on a day as with people who communicated with edward snowden and received communication with him. i am, with their knowledge of the paneling to amend to what we have learned recently on the nsa. my fellow panelists do not need any introduction. ambassadorion that .egroponte was the first from 2005 2007.
5:13 am
wirelessransition to programs to fisa approved programs. the passage of the protect america act and the prism program that i wrote about in the washington post. had that same job. it coincided with a substantial. of -- a substantial time of expanding prism and the passage of defies the amendment acts and section 702. i want to start off with something related that touches on the advertised subject of the panel today. a in norma's as amount of a compliment. i'm prepared to accept that there are a lot of
5:14 am
accomplishments and some cannot be talked about. nevertheless, we learned that we are collecting a lot more documents than the public is aware of and the u.s. government was unable to connect the dots on the tsarnaev brothers in advance. what do you make of that and when you see the implications of what we've heard about the compartmentalization of intelligence information. this,se two aspects of one is having the information available so that it can be corrected and analyzed. is the process of bringing together. the processes have been so widespread and so blasted out.
5:15 am
in the old days, when you broke into the mk altra program and got the message, it would make a difference. that reality -- we can gather a lot more than we can turn into actionable intelligence. geto have to continue to this information and machines and helps us deal with a numerous volumes. said, it is possible -- for the intelligence community to do everything perfectly and yet, for something to happen in the united states
5:16 am
being measures that the country would have to take in order to prevent this from happening though beyond the bounds of what we accept into our lives. mucht this boundary on how we want the government to do and themuch do you want to keep civil liberties and privacy's of americans. listen than we had to work on and debate. stopis right now, we can some things and we cannot stop some other things. that is where we are. i think that's we do not want to go any further. i think what we do is done under laws i think we get better at doing what we have in order to better at fending off these
5:17 am
actions. a lot of what brought you into the job that was created for you was carried on the stovepipes >>e that needs to be rebuilt first of all, that is still important and i think the sharing is critical to the discovery of information a real- time basis. i would have to wait and see with the real damage assessment is of what mr. snowden did. i'm not sure. obviously, he had access to a lot of information. we should bear in mind that hindsight is 2020. hasan take any event that occurred and look at it retrospectively. i think that most things that could have been done were probably done recently in this
5:18 am
case as in others. are situations that will escape was and incidences will occur the fact of the matter is, i think the country is safer than it was after 9/11 because of many of the efforts to integrate and improve our intelligence. i feel that that was nowhere better illustrated than on the battlefield of iraq and afghanistan. i think we really prevented the art of integrating and fully multiple our intelligence capabilities so that we can bear down on targets at the bedstand mcchrystal dismantled out qaeda anorak that by made possible in part
5:19 am
by great advances in technology that have occurred during the past decade. >> let me come back to something that did happen on your watch. 2006, we now know, the government went to the pfizer court and said, we have a new idea -- went to the fisa court and said, we have a new idea, based on the patriot act. we can authorize investigations under a fisa order, in secret. it could get all the records of all telephone calls. international, national, and purely local. how does that fit with the boundaries the american people would expect, in terms of privacy?
5:20 am
>> it is under debate whether we have gone too far in storing and holding that information. maybe congress will revisit that. why would we do it? you asked us about the boston marathon. one reason you would do it is, you have all that data. you detained a tsarnaev brother, and find out the phone numbers of people they have been in touch with in chechnya, and bounce them against these numbers you have on file. maybe you will find other people who have been following the same numbers in the database. we have to emphasize this. it is not monitoring the content of american conversations. never has been. never will be. you can only do that if you have got a warrant from a judge.
5:21 am
>> why couldn't you, having received the tip about the brothers, sent that to the telephone companies and so on? let's have your records. let's have the metadata. why collect it all? >> we would have preferred to have done that. we went to the information companies and said, we would like to be able to come to you with a request, based on probable cause, and find out if this number has talked to any international numbers. the telik commission companies said, you want us to store all that data, all that time, in a formula you can quickly access? we said, yes. that is what we need. they said, these are billing records. we just keep them for the time we need them. he said, can we pay you to do that? we cannot do that. there was a lot of mechanical pieces of this.
5:22 am
>> you could tell them to hand over all the records on a daily basis. why can't a fisa court compel them? they already keep them for 18 months. how long do you need it? >> a lot longer than 18 months. >> that is the whole point. once you pick somebody up who has been involved in some untoward act, and has been communicating with parts of the world which may have originated this activity, you want to be able to go back and find out if the numbers in chechnya or was there a stan -- was era stem -- waziristan have been calling the united states. maybe that is the debate in congress. you would limit the ability to research this issue, if you were no longer able to keep these records.
5:23 am
it will not be for another purpose. >> 250. 10,000. 5 million. let us talk about what that means. >> we heard from capitol hill yesterday, at a skeptical house committee, that contact chaining all those numbers -- when you pull those numbers, it is two or three hops. this is the danger of a reporter doing math, let -- but let me give it a try. suppose the median number of unique contacts for people making phone calls is 100 over the course of a year.
5:24 am
100 times 100 times 100 -- this is approximately the population of the united states. three hops goes very, very far. when they say they have only pulled 300, with a contact chain on those -- at least tens of millions, including a fair amount of overlap. but probably hundreds of millions of people. >> it is based on trying to understand the things that being a threat to the united states -- >> you are prepared to justify this? >> i want to talk about the honesty, the straightforwardness of the public debate. if you say 300 -- for example, the fbi was giving out, only when mandated to do this, the number of times it used section
5:25 am
215. in 2009, it said, we have only submitted 21 fisa section 215 orders, using it very sparingly. with three of those orders, you can get one trillion telephone records. >> are we having a hypothetical discussion or a real one? even if that is a hypothetical possibility, 10 to the power of whatever, it is just math. it is not what is happening. >> it is what is happening. it could be as few as 3 billion records that are accessed when we go after 300 targets. but it is a much larger number than they are prepared to talk about. it sounds interesting. >> let me come at this another way. i would be more enraged if i could have found a story in
5:26 am
which the activities of the nsa had actually caused inconvenience, damage, harm to un-american. i have not seen that story yet. i have not seen a person who was wrongfully identified to be a terrorist, was thrown in jail, given the fifth degree, and so on. there has been more inconvenience and damage to americans by the no-fly list and by taking shoes off in an airport then buy this program, which is precisely pointed toward finding people who pose threats to the united states, see who they are talking to, follow them up under court supervision to identify threats. all this stuff, this is potential we do not trust the government having information stuff. it is not real harm caused to real people by activities which are causing no good.
5:27 am
>> i am not going to debate this, because i am not supposed to be the debater appear. but i am going to play devils advocate with you you. let us put it that way. i will take full accountability for that for our audience here and on the webcast. there are two things i would push you on. one is, how would you know if anyone had been harmed by abuse, given that the program is as secret as it is? among rumsfeld speaks about the unknown unknowns. how could anyone bring an action that would discover they have been disadvantaged in some way by this program? i will save the second question. >> if an american came forward and said, i all of a sudden lost my job.
5:28 am
i was thrown in jail. i was questioned for 24 hours by fbi agents. i have no reason why this came up. i think it is because i came up mistakenly in this search, and i want to know about it. i think, in this great country of ours, with great reporters like you, us would have come out. >> there are a lot of people who lose a lot of jobs or are on the no-fly list, and all kinds of other things. if someone tells me as a reporter, i just know it is because i have been surveilled by a secret program by the nsa, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. the supreme court specifically, in the clapper case, said, you have no standing to find out about this unless you can already demonstrate you were the big them of it. there is not a recourse that allows me to find out if i have suffered any of these harms, whether this is the cause of it. >> come on. when reporters have a sniff that something is not right, you
5:29 am
pursue it. and you get people to talk. [applause] >> i am not exactly sure how to take that. >> you are parts of the belts and suspenders, and all that we on this thing. it is a very terrible program, in my observation. if there is anything tattooed on the heads of people who go on people in the intelligence system, it is, we do not spy on americans unless we do it in a court ordered, legal way. my experience from the inside is that men and women of the intelligence company take that very seriously. they check themselves every step of the way. they are not rummaging around in trillions of records to try to see if they can find something interesting.
5:30 am
they are pursuing specific leads in order to find those who are connected to known threats to the united states, to see if they also pose a threat. i think the program has done well. besides any issues of specific harm, because in any kind of , some sayce program there is a state of for demonstrating the problem is someone is stalking the ex-wife or something that is clearly an abuse of the program, can we trust, can the american people trust very, very powerful institutions to check themselves? we entrust the norma's amount of power to these institutions -- enormous amount of power to these institutions. >> it is not just them watching
5:31 am
themselves. when keith alexander, who was ,irector of nsa when i was dni took me to visit the floor of these operations, it is not only the people monitoring the situation, it is the fbi is there, lawyers are there. there are many safeguards with signs plastered all over the place on the definition of what constitutes an american person. this congressional oversight. there is an inspector general. there are all kinds of safeguards built into this area and i think -- our member george bush when he talked about this program when it was first revealed by the new york times and he says, well, when al qaeda call someone in the united states, i want to know who they are calling. that is kind of the underlying philosophy of this program. i think that is its purpose. it tends to spillover you people thinking, maybe we are
5:32 am
monitoring their actual content of their conversations, and we are not. data, records,- effectively the outside of the envelope that is put into your mailbox. it is that information that is on the envelope. and the date stamp and the postage stamp. >> would you have people believe that metadata has no significant privacy interest? i will just say, if i had a choice -- which i hope not to have either of these choices -- of having every phone conversation i have for 30 days listen to -- which is impractical to have a large number of people doing that -- or all of my metadata collected for 30 days -- by anit was collected american corporation, then i would be worried. sometimes i think we don't really think about where is the real privacy problem in this country? i am not so sure it is with your federal government.
5:33 am
i think it may be more with how this data is used in the private sector for marketing and other kinds of purposes. yeah, i would worry if my metadata was available to people pursuing purely commercial purposes and who want to target me for their sales pitches and everything else. marketing strategies and so forth. that is not what this is being used for. they couldn't care less. >> can i help you? devil's advocacy? --supersecret devils c devils advocacy. who were senior officials in the intelligence community and so on should have done a much better job of explaining the general principles of these programs individualng into cases which do nothing but help our adversaries.
5:34 am
it is kind of a pay me now or pay me later. when something happens and you are operating from a crotchety say, but were ok, trust us -- if we had explain this more full of -- and they are expendable, i think we would be in better shape. we are whipsawed by revelations into sort of grudgingly putting out pieces of it that make it appear as if we have lots more to hide. i strongly advocate and much more proactive intelligence -- what we're trying to do in the u.s. is unprecedented. within a democracy without the , espionage intelligence which requires an inherent amount of secrecy, yet maintain all of what we treasure about our democracy -- i think we have
5:35 am
to recognize that and be more forthcoming to take the mystery out of intelligence operations while protecting a secret. to that extent, i wish we have been able -- that we had been sitting down with people like you for five years instead of waiting until snowden gives you a bunch of information, some that is true and some is incorrect lost all his self- serving, and drag it out at peace at a time. >> that is the traditional method. >> right. i think we could do a much better job while maintaining the secrets. job is to try to listen into conversations to discover threats to the united states. what is secret. that is their job. that is what they get paid for. they need to talk to the companies that do this. what a surprise? they have to make arrangements with other governments in order
5:36 am
to have access. this we ought to be talking about in general , bys while not saying, o h the way, it is this transatlantic cable that we are really trying to -- >> i don't think that is what people are getting upset. , this ispared to say different what the obama administration said as recently as yesterday from on his general counsel of dni was asked yesterday in-house hearing, did you intend -- did you think you could keep secret indefinitely that you are collecting call data records from all americans? you said, well, we tried. are you prepared to say that was a mistake, that there should've been a debate at the time that you collectively decided that the law allows you to collect all the records if you of whocates with him --
5:37 am
communicates with whom in a substantial amount of content and not all of it with fisa orders, should that have been a public debate? >> i would have been more careful in the wording. i think you're misusing the word "collect." i think it should be stored and collected and used with permission was granted. yes, i think we could have -- >> the term i think that is undercutting your case. if you could go once a day to three phone companies and have substantial phone call records and receiving your hands a set dayvds from the previous and put them in a tank somewhere and say that is not collection, you are not speaking english as most people understand it. >> i would say you're completely speaking english as most people understand it. there are things you keep that
5:38 am
you have certain procedures that you can then get into. if you collect something, you get it. collecting something is using the technical means you have in order to gather information that people think is private and that you don't have. . that's collection. storing, under a court order is entirely different and i think we should talk about what the government has access to the conditions under which it is stored, the conditions under it can then be accessed and that ought to be talked about publicly hurry it >> you're saying if you frame it right. we are ingesting but not that all of these records, this is what we think it is important, these are the safeguards, we're not one to get into the details, but this is the big actor we think we should do and let the public debate that. >> i would not use words like
5:39 am
ingesting, but i would say taking, setting up a system so that you can interrogate his records when you have probable cause over so many years should've been out, yeah. i would say if congress doesn't support it, if the president doesn't authorize, then we don't do it. and if they do, which the , i think it is correct. >> let me turn back to you, ambassador. it is clearly your view, the twonant view in the administrations that these programs are fine, that it is only a misunderstanding that would lead people to be alarmed by them. are you concerned about this quite substantial wedge between appointed view of what appears to be kind of a growing amount
5:40 am
of shock and public opinion? and if you take yesterday's hearing to be representative, of members ofount congress, they had no idea your interpreting it this way. i mean, isn't a problem the public is so out of sync with what you think is normal and natural and acceptable? >> that is the way the situation looks now. i think the admiral was making the point it was under court order, it was legal, it was being carried out under relevant legislation. if congress wants to change the legislation, they can change it. i am not disturbed by it nor am i shocked. it just seems to be this is a natural part of the american political process. practices may in some way change, and that is not going to particularly disturbed me, either. signals intelligence is very
5:41 am
important, but it is not the only intelligence collection methodology that we have got. there is human intelligence, geospatial. intelligence is a very broad and complex business. to come back to the topic of the original topic of our meeting -- >[applause] i think we're much better off in the way we integrate that information. i think technology has been our friend. vast experience. i think we are very well withioned to deal collecting and analyzing information with regard to threats that we might face in the future. will the threats change? certainly. there'll be a discussion of that with the panel later on today. i think we talked very well against the set threats that we
5:42 am
have been confronting during these past years. the intel community is in very good shape at the moment. now, all of us worry about these funding issues. when you hear about sequesters of their impacts on things and furloughing people whose jobs are critical to our national security, that is a source of great concern. i was thinking about it, reflecting on what general welsh was saying yesterday about the size of the united states air force and recalling my own tour of duty in the u.s. embassy in vietnam from 1964-1968. 1968, the united states had 520,000 troops in vietnam alone. that is the size of the entire united states army today. our proportion -- the proportion of money being spent for defense and intelligence in our overall budget as a proportion of the
5:43 am
national budget has declined substantially since the end of world war i meant two and the cold war and so forth. i get upset when we think we can squeeze water out of her right by doing things smarter and less smarter. i think we have cut back to the bare bones, the size of our marketing forces, the amount of money we are devoting to national security. if we want to continue to play the kind of role that ashton carter was describing toward the very end of his term, being one of the referees out in the east asia-pacific region with rising countries like china and india, we are not going to be able to do it with this kind of sequester-minded approach to national security. someve got to get back to kind of approach to our budget and our national security that mirrors the responsibilities that we say we have got. [applause] if i could comment about the outrage.
5:44 am
i think i've done enough rodeos to think i just about got it right. when an incident happens it was the outrage that we are not aggressive enough in connecting the dots and collecting the evidence, i know six months later there will be outrage that we are connecting to many dots and collecting too much data. to steer down that path, i think steeringbe better off off that path with more knowledge to those audiences they care and follow it closely and to the general public if we made it clear that middle path we are striking among resources, civil liberty and privacy in getting the job done was being balanced every day in being done in a fairly straight fashion by patriotic americans. >> one more now and then we will open to the floor, so get your questions ready. but younot lawyers, have had a lot of lawyers
5:45 am
talking to you over a lot of years. one of the points been made generally here on this panel also is these programs are legal, therefore, they are fine. it is not clear to me we know that. it is clear they have been approved by the fisa court, but tory effort of outsiders bring this to a court of general jurisdiction to test the lawfulness under statute or constitutional principles has been strongly opposed by both recent administrations. administration succeeded in getting the clapper case thrown out for lack of standing, it said the planets have absolutely no evidence there is large-scale collection or dragnet surveillance or anything to do with the communications can possibly have been collected. i suppose that is literally true, but it doesn't look so good in retrospect. why not allow any of the 18 new
5:46 am
one by thencluding electronic privacy information center whose director isn't here, saying, we want to test the lawfulness of a claim that all american call records could possibly be relevant to an authorized investigation. why oppose that? why not let the supreme court make a decision on it? >> the supreme court has ruled, has it not, that business records of companies are not for the memo protected information, right -- are not fourth amendment protected information, right? what i would say is, when you likeo operations intelligence operations like military operations in which you require a degree of secrecy to be effective for the larger job, you come up with alternative tocedures to what we apply
5:47 am
other forms in which classification is not important. and setg in good people up adversarial circumstances. you use all the principles we using completely open issues, but you have to do it within the closed bubble in order not to be continue these -- continued ineffective. coming in as the director of communications of the office of deputy -- odni, you would get clearance. >> that is on my business card. we replicate the procedures that america follows of authorizing stuff by legislation, setting decisions by court, supervising it by inspector generals.
5:48 am
in at has to be done secret way in order that enemies don't find out about it and can therefore abate it. >> and don't exclude the possibility of the legislation. it,ongress wants to fix that oversight capabilities to hear all of this material, classified, and then decide whether they think they need to tweak the law. you would prefer to see, i suspect, and open debate before the supreme court, but you could go the congressional route as well and address some of the issues and concerns you have raised. they each other own functions. one determines what the legislation should be unwanted terms what is lawful and constitutional. -- one determines what the and oneion should be determines what is lawful and constitutional. briefly, the civil liberties
5:49 am
oversight board, which extensively was created when you came in and i understand it was more by the time you left office in 2010. is that a viable way of overseeing whether privacy and civil liberties are being honored? very fast, butve we did create it during my time and it lasted for while, that i think it fell into disuse and now it has been revived. i don't know what experience you have. >> it was dead when i was there, but i was in favor of it. have in thisks you business -- i agree with your basic point that misuse of the basic power of intelligence community can cause great damage. and the more checks you have on it, the better. i think it should be
5:50 am
there. the president's advisory board performs some of those functions. if it sees something in the civil liberties and privacy area that doesn't smell right, it can pursue that. i had some of those discussions with members of that board, which is very active. so, yeah, one more organization with that charter would be good. >> raise her hand and wait for microphone, keep it brief. over here, orange shirt. >> i just have one data point on the previous discussion and another question not related. the supreme court has ruled, i believe, there is no expectation of privacy on metadata. so i think that is another factor in this whole discussion were thinking about. yourestion really is about
5:51 am
capacities as former chiefs of dni, which is in terms of domestic surveillance and intelligence, no question in our national intelligence has improved -- international intelligence has improved. individualsomestic that were in contact with people overseas, and we did not catch those. how did those slip through the cracks? how could we have done that better? that, is thee to fbi really capable of doing domestic intelligence? think one of the things that has happened over time, said the last decade or two, is the definition of the national security community has really broadened, hasn't it?
5:52 am
during the cold war, it was state defense cia. group ofd that agencies together, you pretty much had the situation covered. now with 9/11, terrorism, you have dhs. i think one of the major features of intelligence reform and the commission report by is to try to raab, rope the fbi more into this process because they have this habit of delegating investigations to the field. everybody was doing their stuff on a yellow legal pad and never sharing it. more after there is this decade that has passed, more of a culture of intelligence in the fbi. i think that is the one of the accomplishments of intelligence reform. in the next big thing, of course, has been in powering and capacity adding the dhs to do more and better, which was a
5:53 am
brand-new agency in 2002, 2003. andink that is moving apace a lot more has happened, but these things are a process. they cannot be accomplished overnight. i think it is much better than it was, but it is going to take time. state,u think about the local, tribal entities, you're talking like 17,000 police forces in this country. we have a very divided police authority. so monitoring some of the stuff is not so easy domestically. my last point would be, those of us who have dealt with foreign- policy and foreign intelligence always approach the issue of domestic intelligence with great skittishness. i would say it is somewhat outside our comfort zone. for all the reasons we spent almost an hour discussing. >> over here? >> thank you.
5:54 am
we have heard from you admiral blair that you perform these programs be secretive they will work better. ambassador negroponte, who gets .o say, trust me i don't think the nsa has a reputation the american people will trust the nsa because the nsa says to trust them, so who gets to say, "trust me"? look, this is not an unknown problem in american government. you put out what the government policy and the general procedures are. congress authorizes them. case ofstand for court some type, you follow it. i think they should be put in a general way americans decide questions that trade-off security, resources, and privacy and civil liberties, but you
5:55 am
have to take -- you cannot do it in a completely open way. i am for following the system this country uses to decide the questions. >> so plato in his republic would've said the nocturnal council, some hidden secret body in the back. we don't do that and we are democracy. gosh, when you compare to what the situation was 50 years ago, the extent of oversight is just huge. gems lesson juror who was head of the cia 30 or 40 years ago told me once there was still oversight committee then. who was headger of the cia 30 or 40 years ago told me once, senator, i want to taste some of the things we have been doing lately. the senator said, i would not want to hear that. that was the reaction in those days. if it is intelligence and secret and you're doing it in the
5:56 am
interest of national security, don't run the risk of sharing it to widely with people. he felt just one senator was already too much. we have gone way beyond that now, way beyond the gang of 8 with committees and this and -- thomas so i think with this and that, so i think sometimes when i hit a pressing, we just like to say it all, i don't think we can do that. we cannot do that and still have effective national intelligence. >> i'm going to try to get a couple of quick questions asked. i am going to go to the corners. that is all i think we are going to be able to do. >> the 9/11 commission recommended the creation of the office of dni and also recommended the creation of the privacy and civil liberties
5:57 am
, unfortunately, neither administration seems too eager to have a robust privacy and civil liberties board with authorities being of power, etc., reporting requirements, created until became operational this past may. you wouldll of suggest that greater transparency be injected into the process. misinformationof and disinformation that has come out about the overall practices of the intelligence committee -- community, in particular, nsa. i am wondering whether you think the privacy board as now constituted, as we have discussed over prior years here in aspen, is inappropriate
5:58 am
appropriateis an mediator that needs to happen both to inform the public and provide greater transparency, or whether that is better conducted in some other form. >> let's leave it at that for the moment. let the microphone travel back there. i'm going to take all the questions first. i will just add on the privacy , i think one full-time equivalent to what the entire intelligence community -- go ahead >> thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. i was wondering if entering the area or the era of cyber warfare has acted as a game changer? a few years ago when north korea attacked servers in the u.s., and used service in britain
5:59 am
since hackers to japan before, which were used in the attack as well. so the enemy, the threats can come from everywhere and anywhere. isthe question would be, there an attitude now the nation cannot afford to not collect all data available wherever they are and whatever data they are because they have to defend and they also have to dissuade enemies and they also have to guarantee to keep superiority in the world? >> let's move the microphone to the opposite corner. why do we start answering those two and then we will get the last question. >> on the civil liberties board, i would say i don't think we should subcontract its function. i think it ought to be done by the leadership of the intelligence community internally. they should be talking about it, setting the tone.
6:00 am
on the -- ciber has made a tremendous difference in the intelligence business because that is where information goes i think most of us have been in the business would feel a lot a keyif we missed communications that have we intercepted it, had we interpret correctly it would have saved the lives of our citizens than if we had not taken the effort to do it. so the information is exploding. we had this nagging suspicion there may be something out there which would save the lives of our fellow citizens or those in other countries, and we are driven by trying to be able to do that, interpreted correctly, get the information to the right people to save lives. that is the motivation of 99.9% of those of us who are in at
disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 8/7/2013